US President Barack Obama tendered no apologies for his quest to generate more jobs for the Americans ahead of his three-day visit to India. However, speaking at the US-India Business Council (USIBC) meet in Mumbai on Saturday, he said there was a need to address the trade imbalance between the two countries.
On the first day of his three-day visit, Obama said at Oberoi Trident Hotel that while creating jobs for Americans remains his top priority, he stressed that the US policies would not hurt any country.
Obama also announced 20 business deals worth $10 billion that would create over 50,000 jobs in America.
"Several landmark deals have been done shortly before my arrival here. Boeing is going to sell dozens of planes to India and GE is going to sell hundreds of electric engines. The deals are worth $10 billion and will create more than 50,000 jobs in the US," he said.
Among the major deals is one that involves the sale of 30 next-generation Boeing 737 aircraft to Spicejet. Anil Ambani's Reliance Power also signed a $2.2 billion deal with General Electric (GE).
"Already, American exports to India have gone up substantially with even Harley Davidson motorcycles dotting the Indian roads. Soon, there will be more," Obama said.
He described India as a market of the future for the US. He pushed for higher US exports to India saying only 2 per cent of American exports head for India.
"I have no doubt that we can do much better. There is no reason why India cannot be our trading partner," the US president said.
He stressed that stronger commercial ties would benefit both India and the US. While describing Indo-US ties as the most defining partnership of the 21st century, he pushed for a healthy competition between the two countries.
"There is no reason why India cannot be our trading partner. I am sure that the relationship between India and the US is going to be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century. Increase in trade and commerce was a win-win proposition for both the nations," Obama said.
Apart from the hardtalk on the business front, the White House announced that dual use technology rules that had limited high-tech trade, both from and to Indian defence firms like DRDO, ISRO and BDL will be updated so that India will get on par treatment with other US allies.
- With agency inputs